A wine-making rich-lister’s son has sworn off alcohol since assaulting a female police officer in “serious violent attack”.
Nikolas James Posa Delegat, 19, appeared for sentencing before Judge Kevin Phillips in the Dunedin District Court on Monday.
The first-year University of Otago student told a female officer “get off me, cop” before punching her in the face, and several more times after she lost consciousness.
“It nearly destroyed her life,” Judge Phillips said.
It was “a serious violent attack”, the judge said of the alcohol-fuelled incident outside the popular Dunedin student haunt, Starters Bar, about 11pm on March 26, 2015.
The court heard Delegat “became enraged” at a comment made by a male associate about his girlfriend, and punched a hole in the bar’s window.
That led to an argument, with Delegat punching a University of Otago Campus Watch officer, after he tried to intervene.
A passing police patrol noticed the disturbance and stopped to help.
Constable Alana Kane, who was in court for the sentencing, suffered a black eye and serious swelling to her face after being punched by Delegat.
She spent 15 hours at Dunedin Hospital after the incident, was off work and could not drive for two months and still suffered headaches.
Bad enough to assault a police officer, but to keep punching her after she was unconscious is incredibly serious.
Name suppression was initially sought for fair trial and personal hardship reasons, and was declined on both grounds.
His Auckland-based lawyer, Mark Ryan, applied for a discharge without conviction but it was declined.
You have to be kidding!
Ryan argued a conviction would stop Delegat pursuing a Financial Markets Authority career and he would be unable to race in yachting competitions in the United States.
Oh poor diddums.
The judge sentenced Delegat to 300 hours’ community service and ordered him to pay a $5000 emotional harm repayment.
I’m not exactly a social justice warrior but if Delegat was say a young Pacific Islander in South Aucklander who had punched a cop unconscious and then kept punching her, I’d say he’d probably be serving a significant jail term.
Ryan said his client had done everything asked of a young man following this “one-off fall of grace”.
“This incident was completely out of character.”
I don’t buy that. We all can do stupid stuff when drunk. But most people would never ever assault a police officer, yet alone keep punching them while unconscious. You either are the sort of person who can do that, or you are not.
Ryan said his client wanted to work alongside authorities with young people involved in the “out-of-control drinking culture” at the University of Otago.
This comes across to me as blaming alcohol, rather than blaming himself. The problem is not the drinking culture, but that Delegat got violent when drunk.